Ipswich Hospital expansion approved - here's when it is set to open
PUBLISHED: 16:30 13 November 2019
Multi-million pound expansion plans at Ipswich Hospital have been given the green light - with new facilities set to open at the end of 2021.
But issues over parking, pedestrian routes and access have to be ironed out after "serious concerns" were raised by decision makers.
The proposals, estimated to cost more than £34million, propose to build a new emergency department, extend and revamp the south wards, and make changes to the south wards, bus and ambulance entrances.
But councillors at Ipswich Borough Council's planning committee said that while the development of facilities was welcome, there were serious issues with parking and access.
Councillor Helen Armitage, raised issues with the reconfigured drop-off and bus stops outside the Garrett Anderson Centre, and said: "Often there are buses queuing up - how in an emergency situation is an ambulance going to get through there?
"I am very concerned there is not enough space and there will be a conflict between buses and ambulances."
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Councillor Sandra Gage said that pedestrian signposting was poor and raised issues with a lack of bus timetables for passengers.
Councillor Liz Harsant added: "Many years ago we were promised a multi-storey car park and that idea seems to have died.
"I am really concerned when you have someone really poorly you have to drop them off at whatever department and fly around the car parks looking for a space when you should be with the person you are there for."
The committee agreed to the plans with an advisory note that the hospital should reassess those concerns.
East Suffolk and North East Essex NHS Foundation Trust said a business plan would now be produced with a planned approval next summer, and hoped the new and improved facility would be open at the tail end of 2021.
Estates and facilities director Paul Fenton said: "This is a significant step forward in the delivery of high quality high standard patient care for the population of east Suffolk, and indeed will significantly improve those treatments for patients who require emergency treatment.
"We are absolutely delighted, but we also take into consideration those comments that were made in relation to travel and access, and we will be dealing with that as part of the conditions."